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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  December 11, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PST

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a sign of a serious setback. north korea is racing against the clock to repair a faulty rocket. welcome to nhk world "newsline." south korean officials told nhk that north korea is removing a satellite carrying rocket from a launch pad. apparently undergoing repairs. it extended the launch period by a week to december 29th because of technical problems. officials in many countries believe the north is trying to
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carry out a long-range missile test. north korean technicians are thought to have examined the missile on the launchpad, but they apparently decided the problem could not be solved simply by replacing defective parts in the rocket's first stage. south korean officials say problems may exist in the entire system. repairs to the rocket may not be completed in two days, the south koreans believe the north has not given up on the planned launch. the head of the self-defense force says his agency remains on high alert. >> translator: we are fully prepared to respond quickly and deal with any unexpected developments. we will do our best to guard our nation's lives, property, and all elements of its safety. >> he emphasized the risk has not changed, only the time period has. that means japan must stay vigilant.
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>> japan's ruling party promised change. but it faces challenges, an economy dogged by uncertainty and disputes with neighbors over territory. voters now face a choice. who will they trust to guide their country forward? join us december 16th for "japan decides." continued violence in afghanistan has cast a shadow over plans for the country to take over it's own security in 2013. the pentagon insists things are back on track. and uses phrase dramatically improved to describe the situation in a new report. we have a report from our bureau in bangkok. >> the u.s. department of defense has released its latest report on the on going battle with taliban in afghanistan. progress has been made, but much remains to be done. pressing issue, how to best train afghan forces to maintain security.
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the report released to the u.s. congress on monday. a key claim is that 76% of the country's population lives in areas where afghan police and troops maintain the leading role in security. it also states that attacks by the taliban rose by 1% for the period of april to september, known as the afghan fighting season. the pentagon says increased violence centered on rural areas and security in cities dramatically improved during the same period. since the start of the year, attacks fell 22% in kabul, 62% in kandahar, and 88% in mazhar-i-sharif. compares with 211. critical concerns are also detailed in the report. international forces have been training afghan security forces for years, but the report says very few afghan units are fully dependent from international counterparts when carrying out operations. another issue are so-called insider attacks by members of
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the afghan military against international forces. which are undermining mutual trust. the report also warns that the insurgency has found safe havens in northwestern pakistan and mentions the limited institutional capacity of the afghan government endemic corruption. these are among the obstacles to long term stability in afghanistan. another story from afghanistan. the first rail service launched earlier this year with support from the international community. it is still in its early stages, but expected to play a critical role in reconstruction in the future. nhk world has details. >> reporter: afghanistan's only railway began operating earlier this year near the border with uzbekistan. the line runs for 75 kilometers between the border town and the
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important regional city. afghanistan is a landlocked country. nearly half of all the goods it imports pass through here. security is a major concern amid the taliban insurgency. police officials stand guard along the tracks. they transport daily loads of flour and other commodities. rail transport is cheaper and faster than using afghanistan's treacherous roads. >> for the reconstruction of afghanistan, the railway is very important and it's growing the economy of afghanistan. it's important and we needed this in afghanistan. >> for now the freight trains are mostly carrying imports. the carts traveling back across
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border to uzbekistan are usually empty. afghan government has plans to use railways to boost the country's export capacity. experts estimate afghanistan sits on a trillion dollars worth of natural resources including oil, iron, gold and copper. once mines and oil fields are activated, the government intends to export the resources by rail. afghanistan's expansion receives support from the international community. the age and development bank provides some $165 million for construction of rail link. next year it will fund another $2.7 million for feasibility study on expanding the network. >> we have roads that we have
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constructed. however, as you know, considering the volume of our demand in products, it's not going to be enough. the railway becomes an important component in the development of our demand in the industry. >> reporter: several projects to exploit afghanistan's natural resources are already under way. last month a state-owned chinese company became the first to start large scale commercial construction of oil in the company. the project has an oil field with an estimated capacity of 80 million barrels. poor security has forced the government to suspend projects it other regions. officials in kabul say exploiting afghanistan's natural resources is the only way to end the dependence on foreign aid. >> many of the resources in
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afghanistan will play an important role to build the afghan economy and creating a substitute for the foreign aid which flows here in afghanistan. railways is the most important factor to transport out the mineral resources of afghanistan. >> reporter: creating a stable and skilled future for afghanistan may depend on the government's ability to keep their project on track. that wraps up our bulletin for today from bangkok. japanese auto parts makers are trying to find new business channels at a major trade fair in china. they're struggling to survive in the world's biggest car market amid souring relations between the two countries.
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30 japanese suppliers are among 4,000-plus companies from around the world showcasing products and services in the fair that started obtuse. chinese consumers are shunning japanese products since a bilateral territorial dispute broke out in september. some have seen sales plunge in china by half. others remain unable to keep plants going. >> translator: i think the chinese market has big potential. we're pinning our hopes on china, being able to keep staying afloat. >> japanese officials making active sales pitches at the fair to potential clients in the u.s., europe, and china. the nobel prize winner is eager to get back to work.
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>> he shared this year's nobel prize in physiology or medicine with a british scientist. his family joined him at the ceremony in stockholm. >> he received the award for his work with stem cells. japanese children are scoring better in math and science. some results are less encouraging. the international mathematics inside study has been conducted every four years since 1995 by
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an international academic society based in holland. about 500,000 students and 60 countries and regions across the globe took part in the 2011 test. a total of 8800 students from japan took the exams. they were fourth graders and eighth graders. japanese fourth graders scored better on average than four years earlier in both math and science. the science scores of the eighth graders also improved but math remained unchanged. the latest test results don't reflect their interest in future occupations. many students say they enjoy studying math and science but when asked whether they want a job for which knowledge of math or science is required, only 20% of eighth graders said yes. this is about 30% lower than the international average. one expert is pointing out society's need for math and science skills. >> translator: i think if everyone in a society emphasizes
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the importance of science and math, children will also understand that learning these subjects is important and useful in the real world. >> japanese children once dominated the ton rankings in the assessment tests but their sexual intercourses began to drop significantly eight years ago. this prompted the education ministry to change its lenient education policy. people in japan are reflecting on the past three years in determining whether a political party that promised change actually delivered. they cast ballots it this sunday at a general election when japan decides voters will be picking lawmakers for the lower house of the diet. they'll be using their ballots to keep the ruling democratic party in power or they'll send it packing allowing another party or parties to form the country's next government. these 12 groups met the criteria to be called a political party
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in this election. they include long-established parties and several new ones that were just founded. a number of other groups failed to meet the standards but are still fielding candidates. voters have a lot to think about. we'll be examining the key issues all this week here on "newsline." energy policy has emerged as one of the biggest points of contention in this election. at the heart of the debate is the notion of health, both of people and the japanese economic. nhk world reports. >> reporter: ken has done everything he can think of it to save electricity. he understands what's at stake after what happened in fukushima. he's hoping he and his neighbors can reduce their dependence on nuclear power. >> translator: i'd like to see which politicians will take concrete steps to deal with nuclear power.
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i'll choose the one who shares my way of thinking. >> reporter: the fukushima disaster forced people in japan to think about where their energy comes from. nuclear power accounted for 26% of the supply before the accident. the government plans to raise that to 45% by 2030. japan has 54 nuclear reactors. the accident prompted operators to shut them down one by one for safety inspections. by this past may all of them were offline. but the people who ran the utilities feared they wouldn't be able to supply businesses and consumers with enough power during the peak summer period, so in june the prime minister
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approved the restart of two reactors in western japan. government officials held meetings and asked the public for their views. they wanted to gauge opinion on three options for nuclear power by 2030. 0%, 15%, or 20% to 25%. more than half the people chose 0%. >> translator: it's out of the question to use nuclear power without clarifying the responsibility of the state. >> reporter: cabinet members adapted the policy to break away from nuclear energy. they said they will do what they can to make it possible to shut down all plants by the 2030s. >> translator: we face difficult challenges, but we can no longer postpone finding solutions.
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>> reporter: the search for a solution has prompted japanese to turn towards the sun and into the wind. government leaders want to transport the use of renewable energy over the next two decades. the utility executives complain higher fuel costs are biting into their profits. they've applied to raise electricity prices. >> translator: it will squeeze my family finance. it has been getting cold, so fuel costs will climb higher. >> reporter: business leaders complain that a 0% nuclear policy would create a burden on the economy. >> translator: without nuclear power the price of electricity will increase, and the supply will be unstable. >> reporter: the leader of the
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opposition liberal democratic party, abe, has criticized the no nuclear policy as irresponsible. some politicians clearly don't agree. they formed a new party focused on the nuclear-free option. this is the first time nuclear power is a main point of debate. the issue has prompted a political re-alignment and it's prompted voters to realign their thinking about the role of nuclear energy. nhk world, tokyo. >> our coverage leading up to sunday's general election will continue all this week. our focus on wednesday is the biggest job's gentlems japan's t generation are face, rebuilding the northeast after last year's
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disaster. nhk world's special coverage of japan's general election is a click or tap away. on december 10th we add a host of features on our web and mobile sites. you'll find backgrounds and analysis plus in depth reports on the issues that could define the campaign to disaster recovery and foreign affairs and more. get online and get informed. chinese authorities are going all out to promote the art and culture worldwide. there's a snag. the government's idea of art is at odds with the artist's view. it all boils down to freedom of expression. some artists say that means free to express the government's point of view. nhk world reports. >> reporter: in the quiet of his office, one of china's favorite political cartoonists is creating. he draws exclusively for a newspaper.
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often his cartoons address social problems. this one is about government corruption. public servants with their private interests scramble for wealth. but what he draws in his office is not always what is happening in the newspaper. here, for example, he discovers someone has altered his cartoon behind his back. this is what he handed in. the hammer symbolizes the communist party. he shows the party demonstrating its absolute power, but in the final version it's replaced with the wars that go across. >> translator: it might not be a
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big difference for readers. i think the person in charge didn't want trouble. i know i should be grateful that they didn't scrap it altogether. >> reporter: some artists are searching for an environment that gives them freedom to create whatever they want. an hour's drive from central beijing brings us to a village with lots of museums and studios. here 5,000 artists indulge their passions. among them is an actor. three years ago he began exposing society's shortcomings.
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in the summer the communist party congress was only a month away, so this actor staged a special performance. he called this the democratic election. the message? in this democracy we can't choose our leaders. he invited passers-by to watch the performance. on their ballots the 200 people who attended wrote the name of a candidate they would choose. but a month before the congress, the police came. like his cartoon about the party's total power, they took him away. they didn't release him until the end of october. china aims to be an artistic and
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cultural powerhouse, but he says the party's heavy hand smothers true artistic expression. >> translator: the government keeps saying it wants to nurture art, but what art are they talking about? there's no way we can create something that can be called art here. they're deceiving people. yes, you can make money if you go along with the government, but is that the way to nurture art? what's the point of it? >> reporter: china's government censors films, publications and tv shows, so many people are hard-pressed to say what they think. authorities want to turn china into a powerhouse of culture, but it is difficult to reconcile culture with censorship. nhk world, beijing.
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heavy snow causing havoc in various parts of japan. rachel is here with the weather. >> we've been looking at above average snowfall through december for much of japan. current snow depths, just below, we have the average snowfall for the month of december. so up toward hokkaido, about 30 centimeters, already 125 have fallen. more than that has already fallen. so the current snow depth is 125 centimeters. we nearly have a stack of two meters here in central japan. mostly areas along the sea of japan coast, because its sea-affect snow. we get heavy effect accumulations and we will see better conditions toward the end of the workweek, but another 24 hours of heavy snow to c and orange, up to 70 centimeters,
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half a meter of this western edge of northern japan. it will get worse before it gets better, and even then, we'll deal with warmer winds, some warmer temperatures coming in, that means we can have this very quick snow melt and that in turn can cause problems, certainly concern for avalanches to occur. we're looking at that danger in hokkaido from thursday through friday. generally, content fairly calm under high pressure here with just some showers in the south. temperaturewise, still around the freezing point for the high in beijing as well as seoul. minus 17 in ul-lambatur. 10 degrees in tokyo. shy of the frigid air mass toward the north. 11 in chongquing and shanghai and further down to the south and the tropics, into the 30s there. let's head on into the americas. central portions are looking calm and clear.
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a storm from the pacific, dropping down from b.c. to central california. chilly showers to post coastal areas. and we'll be seeing some snow, a few inches on the sierra nevadas and moving inland as well. strongest gusts bringing temperatures down in portions of southern california in the next couple of days. out toward the east, we've been watching a stubborn system move away out over the atlantic, but what will be left over is heavy showers in the eastern gulf states as well as in the florida peninsula and you can see some severe thunderstorms erupting there too. here are temperatures. a big drop out in the northeast. new york city, 9 degrees today. 9 in d.c. a drop of 10 degrees between monday and tuesday. further up toward the north. that's your high temperature. winnipeg, minus 20. high temperature, even down to houston, 13 for the high. but overnight lows will be around the freezing point.
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as for europe, not too much to worry about for western and central locations. potent low bringing blizzard like conditions. it's fwog to going to push off toward the black sea. to the south, more heavy rain coming into southern turkey. and we've already had quite a week of heavy rain here. flood conditions will be possible. here are temperatures, minus 9 in moscow. minus 3 in stockholm on wednesday and minus 4 and minus 2 in berlin and vienna. 3 degrees in london and 1 degree in paris. and i leave you now with your extended forecast.
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we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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-- captions by vitac --
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